Some of What We Know Is Right*

By Joe Heim, Justin Rude and Dan Zak
Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dear Wise Guys:

The TWGs are clearly not romantic advisers, but what do men think about being asked out by women? I conducted a survey of men, women, different generations, different cultural backgrounds, different degrees of inebriation. It yielded a consensus. Wondering what you think (Dan especially).


Joe: Men are thrilled to be asked out by women whom they find physically, emotionally, intellectually and sense-of-humorly attractive.

Justin: Mostly just physically attractive, though.

Joe: Probably true. Christine especially wants to hear from you, Dan.

Dan: Just think: If women had not had the generosity of spirit to ask out Joe and Justin, they wouldn't be happily married today. So do your part to reform hapless bachelors. As a bachelor who is hapful, I can say I love being asked out, though my heart already belongs to a woman named Liza.

Hey, Wise Guys:

I've read that birds can fly because their bones are hollow, but does that mean they have no bone marrow? And if they don't, how do they produce blood cells?


Joe: Interesting question, Courtney, and one that I hear quite often. It's a common misconception that birds' bones are hollow. They're not hollow in the way that drinking straws are hollow. But birds do have enough space in their bones that their total plumage weighs two to three times what their skeleton weighs. Still, all birds have bone marrow, and that's where their blood cells are formed.

Dan: Don't pretend you knew the answer to that question.

Joe: I did.

Dan: Phony.

Joe: Okay, fine. Some or all of my answer may have been provided by Laura Erickson, science editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y. That better?

Justin: We actually have a hotline to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I think that's the third avian query the folks there have helped us answer.

Joe: Why do we get so many bird questions?

Justin: Because you're a birdbrain.

Dear Dan, Joe, Justin:

Why do men's dress shirts come with so much packaging? It takes over five minutes to remove all the pins, plastic inserts and cardboard. Then you have to take the shirt to the cleaners so they can steam out the creases. Why not just put it on a hanger?


Joe: You can thank the pin lobby for sticking it to shirt buyers. The North American Pinmakers Association has funneled tons of cash into congressional coffers to ensure laws that require 40 pins per dress shirt.

Justin: The International Hanger Association doesn't have nearly the same clout.

Dan: Sorry, Cheryl. Joe and Justin are practicing for the upcoming convention of the Idiots of America Association, Mid-Atlantic Chapter. I called shirtmaker Van Heusen to ask about the packaging. A customer service rep said the pins and inserts keep the shirts crisp during transport. Without the packaging, the shirt would be flattened or crumpled, which is arguably worse than geometric creasing. Either way, at least the collar is ramrod straight.

Joe: Why do we get so many pin questions?

Dan: Because you're a pinhead.

* This week's motto was submitted by Bob Wagner of Washington.

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